How To Protect Your Car From Big Rigs On The Road
Trucks are more enormous and heavier than passenger vehicles, and getting involved in a car-truck collision can be traumatic for the car driver and its passengers. Therefore, it's important to know how you can protect your car from big rigs on the road.
Check out these helpful tips to keep yourself safe while driving your car with trucks on the road:
- Keep A Good Distance
Sometimes, one might think that a slow-moving vehicle such as a garbage truck that comes and collects trash every week isn't particularly dangerous. However, you shouldn't underestimate the risks involved in seemingly slow and cumbersome vehicles.
The 2017 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report shows that 107 fatalities and 1,400 injuries were results of garbage truck accidents. Regardless of how fast you're going, you must keep a good distance from other vehicles at all times. Always remain at least 3 seconds back from the truck and any other vehicle in front of you. In poor conditions, keep a farther distance.
Here's how to follow the three seconds of driving space between your car and the vehicle you're following:
- Select a landmark such as a street sign, a parked car, a lamppost, etc., on the side of the road.
- Once the truck has passed the landmark, that's when you start counting.
- If you pass the same landmark in less than three seconds, it means you're driving too close from the big rig. Therefore, you need to adjust and ensure that you pass a landmark for three or more seconds.
- Avoid Driving In No Zones Or Blind Spots
Passenger vehicle drivers usually assume that truck drivers can see the condition of the road better because they're sitting high above the cab or are higher off the ground. It's true that truck drivers have a better forward road view and have bigger mirrors in their big rigs. But they have serious problems with blind spots, which means that smaller vehicles look invisible to them.
The blind spots of big rigs are known as "no zones" or areas around a truck where your vehicle is no longer visible. A big rig's blind spots include directly behind, along each side (particularly on the right side), and directly in front. If you're too close to the truck, there's greater danger of a collision because the big rig can't maneuver or stop safely. Again, try to keep a safe distance from these larger vehicles.
So how do you know that you're driving on a blind spot? If you can't see the driver's reflection in the side mirror of the truck, then you're in the blind spot, and the truck driver can't see you. Stay far away in those blind spots to avoid blocking the truck driver's ability to take evasive action when a dangerous situation arises.
- Follow Traffic Rules
You can protect your car from the big rig by also following traffic rules. For instance, there are areas only dedicated to trucks, or truck lanes, which means that you shouldn't drive on those areas and stay on the passenger lane. If you do so, you're only increasing your risk of getting involved in a truck accident.
- Be A Defensive Driver
Whether you're close to smaller vehicles or big rigs, you should always be alert and be a defensive driver. Defensive driving is consciously reducing the dangers when driving, avoiding traumatic accidents. In addition, following defensive driving techniques can even save you from the costs related to fuel consumption and car maintenance. So drive smoothly and steadily.
- Conduct Regular Vehicle Checks
While you may have good driving skills and attitude, a poorly maintained vehicle may also increase your chances of getting involved in a vehicle collision. So make sure to follow the auto maintenance schedule of your vehicle. Always check the brakes, oil, lubricant, water, and other important parts and functions of your car before driving.
- Avoid Parking Near A Truck
As much as possible, you should avoid parking your car close to a truck. Because of the limited space and maneuverability, the truck driver may not calculate the distance fair enough and hit your vehicle. Avoid this damaging event by parking your vehicle near other cars and passenger vehicles only.
You can protect your car from big rigs on the road by keeping a good driving distance, avoiding blind spots, following traffic rules, and being a defensive driver. Keep all of these important reminders in mind to avoid the life-changing and costly consequences of getting involved in a truck accident.